This week in Washington, D.C., we faced multiple attacks on our democracy. Elected leaders sought to overturn the will and the votes of the people. White militants lead a violent insurrection against our government. And again, we witnessed that when white militants commit violence, police stand by. None of these attacks are acceptable and those responsible must be held accountable.
We have a lot to do to attain a fair, just society for everyone. We must stand together against these attacks.
This was an attack on our country and our people, incited from within — by a president who refuses to accept the will of the people, encouraged by many elected officials challenging our votes, and facilitated by the silence of others. Together, we must demand immediate action to hold those complicit in inciting the attacks accountable. Every elected individual responsible, from the President to Congressional members, state legislators to local officials, must be held responsible for feeding and fueling these attacks on our democracy. Accountability requires them to be removed from office or to resign their position as an elected official.
We must make clear that this country is a true democracy. A country where the will of the people determines the actions of our leaders, where we stand with and for each other, and where our elected officials and public servants respect our rights, no matter our race, accent, zip code, or religious affiliation.
Call your elected officials and let them know. Demand action.
Held high and waving in the anti-democracy attacks on the U.S. Capitol were Nazi and Confederate flags, along with other white supremacy symbols. Land Stewardship Project members and allies must stand together and make it clear that white supremacy has no place in our society. The Land Stewardship Project’s mission is to create a more just and sustainable food and farming system for everyone, no exceptions. Our organizing is based on shared values of community, democracy, stewardship, health, and justice. Upholding this foundation is the conviction that we believe in the innate value of people and the land. Racist hatred, exclusion, and violence are clear violations of our strongly held belief that every person has value that cannot be earned or taken away.
Based on this set of values, the Land Stewardship Project condemns the activity of white supremacist and other hate groups, many of whom are seeing a resurgence in the Upper Midwest.
The rise of white supremacist groups is paralleling the unwillingness of our nation’s leaders to call them out for what they truly are: a threat to our communities and the future of this country. They should have been stopped; they were not. The flames were fanned. That is why we call on our leaders at the local, state, and federal level to unequivocally condemn not only the actions of white nationalist, white supremacist, and other hate groups, but the racist, bigoted roots that they are based on. To do otherwise is to be part of the problem.
White supremacist movements are built on a cancerous foundation of hate and fear and they tear down our collective work to create a sustainable and just society for all. White people must join with people of color — rural, suburban, and urban — to fight this threat to the land, people, communities, and our democracy.
It was not just the terrorists behind the attacks that we must fight against. We must also stand together to hold ALL public servants accountable to the public good. Those who swear to serve and protect, but, in fact, aid and abet an armed white mob must be held accountable.
The scenes of the attack were troubling not only for what they represented, but how they were handled by authorities. It was the white mob and security holding open a door for that mob as if they were kids leaving a museum. Images are circulating of insurgents taking selfies with police. We did not see police incitement, rubber bullets or riot gear. There were very few arrests. The Capitol is the people’s house, but this wasn’t a protest — it was an insurrection against our democracy. Yet, when Black organizers seek justice and peaceful protest happens, police attack. We have seen it again, and again, and again. There are no other excuses. We do not ask for greater restrictions or penalties against protestors. We do not ask for white protestors to be shot. We demand fairness. We demand equal treatment and that the violence against protestors of color stop.
In the face of all the attacks, we also witnessed a triumph of our democracy in the case of historic wins in Georgia. Closer to home, we organized thousands of our members to turn out in the 2020 election. It is an incredible reminder of what can be accomplished when people of all races and places vote. The Land Stewardship Project recognizes that engagement and defense of our democracy must happen year-round and we need your active support to make this possible.
While Wednesday’s attack on democracy was clear and explicit, attacks like that happen every day behind closed doors as corporations, special interests, and Big Ag use their influence to weaken our people power and erode our democracy.
Together we must continue to fight for a peaceful transition to the next federal administration and ensure that no state-level legislation passes that would undermine our right to make our voices heard and votes counted. Become a Democracy Defender today by joining our Democracy in Action network and staying engaged in this important organizing work during the legislative session and beyond!
Jess Anna Glover is the executive director of the Land Stewardship Project and the Land Stewardship Action Fund. She can be contacted via e-mail.